My first reaction was one of utter confusion, like I had no idea how to respond. You can look at this link to see the costume. https://ew.com/movies/2018/12/19/aladdin-first-look-ew-cover-story/

I’m just going to discuss Jasmine’s and Aladdin’s costumes. The costumes were designed by Michael Wilkinson. He has designed costumes for Sucker Punch, Twilight Breaking Dawn parts 1 & 2, 300 and American Hustle and Batman V Superman.

These costumes are bad. They don’t read as for a major movie with a budget. They look more in keeping with a Disney on Ice show.  Let’s just take about the lack of midriffs. I didn’t think I would miss such a element but the way Jasmine’s costume is cover with a flesh tone fabric over her midriff looks weird. Like she was in an ice show and needed to keep warm or if the actress was extremely modest. Or were they trying to go for a meld of cultural/historical authenticity? Because it would be weird for Disney to start now, with Jasmine’s midriff as a point of contention.   It’s just a weird choice. I don’t get it and I hate it.

Also all the details is just more on more with just more. When it’s that much it starts to look cheap. Removing a few details would have help Jasmine’s costume. Like that gold thing down her bodice. What is that? Or the other gold edging on her bodice. Or those circle details that are on the nude part. I hate it.

Her jewelry is also so bad looking.  I’m not even sure what the basis for the design was because it wasn’t Jasmine’s jewelry or existed jewelry from the Middle East or even India.  It looks really modern to me. Like the got this from a Walmart and made a crown to match. I hate it.

Then there’s Aladdin’s costume and oh boy what is going on here? He’s in a pinstripe shirt with red vest. With striped pants and shoes. Also his pants have a little button at the cuff. What? Why? At least he has his fez. If he didn’t have his red fez  I wouldn’t have know it was him. No scratch that, if it wasn’t for the fact that they said it was Aladdin I couldn’t have known it was the same character.

Maybe this is Aladdin’s costume later in the movie, after he meets the Genie and he gets a new outfit and shoes. I don’t know but hate it.  

I will say that I don’t hate the textures of the fabrics, which is a weird thing to say but they look nice.  

The costumes in Once Upon a Time for these characters were so much better. These one are just confused and tacky. I hate them.    

It is bad that I hope maybe they will look better in the context of the movie? I mean they could. Here’s Hoping. 

Isabelle Guerin as Esmeralda Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris picture image
Isabelle Guerin as Esmeralda Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris

The costumes of the ballet are just so fascinating. First of there are no tutus in this production everything is very streamline and mod which fits the era. Though It was a little early for the trend of mod but we will get to that.

Natalia Osipova as Esmeralda, Roberto Bolle as Quasimodo and Mick Zeni as Frollo, Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris 2013 picture image
Natalia Osipova as Esmeralda, Roberto Bolle as Quasimodo and Mick Zeni as Frollo, Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris 2013

The first area of interest is the use of colors and the lack of colors. The principal roles mostly wear neutrals. Quasimodo wears brown, Frollo wears black, Esmeralda wears white with black details  in first act and purple in the second and Phoebus wears white with a touch of blue. The corps de ballet are the one who wears the colors. So the principal dancers do stand out.

Yves St Laurent’s design for Phoebus

Yves St Laurent, the fashion designer, designed the costume and said that he was inspired by stained glass windows and also Mondrian. Mondrian was a dutch modernist painter from the early 20th century and was part of the De Stijl movement.

What I find really fascinating is around 1965 Yves St Laurent did a collection that was inspired by Mondrian which really shaped the fashion of the late 60’s. So did his work on Notre Dame de Paris inspired that collection or was it a case of it all just happening at the same time?  In an interview Yves St Laurent did site Mondrian as an inspiration for Phoebus’ costume. So did the ballet have an impact on late 1960’s fashion as it help inspired Yves St Laurent? Maybe.

Quasimodo in Roland Petit’s Notre Dame de Paris

Also I should point out that Yves St Laurent also said that Quasimodo’s costume was inspired by frescos. So everything was inspired by cathedral elements which is perfection.  

Phoebus and Esmeralda Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris Ballet picture image
Phoebus and Esmeralda  in Roland Petit’s Notre Dame de Paris

Getting back to the costumes Esmeralda and Phoebus’ their costumes have a extra layer that is pulled off to imply nudity during their tryst which is very interesting and surprising. I do love it when costumes are interactive and part of the narrative, like Cinderella’s transforming dress in Roger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella or even when Christine Daae gets her big skirt put on during Think of me in Phantom.        

Natalia Osipova as Esmeralda & Roberto Bolle as Quasimodo, Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris Ballet picture image
Natalia Osipova as Esmeralda & Roberto Bolle as Quasimodo

One aspect that I find slightly puzzling is while I don’t mind Esmeralda in white at the start of the Ballet, as it’s the conscious decision to put the principles in neutral, I don’t get why she wears dark purple in the second act. In a pure sense of the novel Esmeralda wears white while she in Notre Dame but here it’s purple. It’s a pretty shade but the decision is weird. If I were to venture guess I would say that the reason is very simple as that dark purple color is a very prominent color in the stained glass windows especially the South Rose window. Plus Esmeralda does not need to stand out as much as the corps de ballet has less to do with the second act.  So maybe it’s not such a weird decision.

Quasimodo and Esmeralda in Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris Ballet picture image
Quasimodo and Esmeralda in Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris Ballet

All in all the costumes are very in keeping with a 1960’s point of view and burgeoning styles of the later parts of the decade. However I love that Yves St Laurent went for his inspiration and combine it with the modern aesthetic of the time to create a real look for this ballet that is wholly unique.     

Also is you look up Yves St Laurent you get a pair of earring that fit Esmeralda perfectly. Perfect for Disneybounding if you got the funds.

Disclaimer: I know very little to nothing about Medieval Fashion and even less about the Romani people. Also this post only focuses on Esmeralda and Fleur de Lys’ costumes.

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1977 picture image

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1977

On first glance Esmeralda’s costume in this version sucks. It looks like something a Juliet would wear. It’s a pink overdress with a high waistline with a dark red and gold embroidered bodice. It’s layered over a chemise with bell sleeves and embroidered armbands. She wears bangles on both wrists and has pink ribbons in her hair. It also seems like she has another gold over layer around the bodice that has some streamer-like detail going done the skirt What is this costume?

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda

Well this could be one the worst contextually Esmeralda costumes or it could be one of the most accurate. Isn’t that a crazy thing to suggest?

Looking at art from the late 1400’s with Romani as the subject matter, they didn’t dress all that dissimilarly from White Europeans. They do seem to be wearing a cloth headdress which is exactly what we see in Caravaggio’s fortune teller painting and in Manfredi’s painting but not in Vouet’s fortune teller painting. What is in all these paintings that is in not in the earlier illustrations is the sari-like drape garment.  So it would seem, at least me, that the blanket sari-like wrap was a garment worn by the Romani in the late 1500’s and not in the 1400’s. Could be wrong but given the art available, it points to that notion.

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda

Which bring us back to the 1977 version of Esmeralda and her Juliet-ish costume.  A pervasive thought is that Romani were given clothing for fortuning or what not, so Esmeralda COULD have been given this dress in exchange for pleasing some noble for her dancing. Makes a certain level of sense.

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda

Comparing Esmeralda’s costume to Fleur de Lys’ costumes you may notice that Esmeralda’s dress has a different silhouette. Fleur’s costumes are more in keeping with the style of  noble women in the 1480’s. The color for Fleur and Esmeralda’s costumes were inspired by the 1956 version of Hunchback; a red tone for Esmeralda and blues for Fleur, someday we’re going to discuss the topic of Esmeralda wearing red again, because I have more to say on that subject.

Hetty Baynes as Fleur de Lys 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Hetty Baynes as Fleur de Lys

Since we’re on the topic, all Fleur’s  costumes are all very beautiful in this version. She gets the fur trim and the hennin which all things that were in style for a lady of her standing in the 1480’s.

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda

Esmeralda’s costume looks a bit more like the style from the 1450’s which had a higher waist line but was that costume designer Dorothea Wallace’s intent? Was Wallace’s aim to emulate a style from the 1450’s suggesting that Esmeralda was gifted her dress? Or is there something else operating here? Something Groovy???

Dior pattern from 1977 picture image

Dior pattern from 1977

Like every single period movie ever, costume design is more of a  reflection of the time in which the movie is made rather than historical accuracy. It’s a truth! In the 1977 version while there is a historical silhouette that looks like Esmeralda’s movie costume, the silhouette was in vogue in the 1970’s especially with long gowns. High-waisted  empire waistlines were not super popular in the late 1970’s but you did see it. Also the dull muted pink color of Esmeralda’s dress was in keeping with the muted earth tones that dominated 70’s fashion. Whereas Fleur’s costumes are light and bright in color I.E not as trendy for the decade.  See another example here 

 

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda

Does this mean anything? In my non-expert expert opinion, I think this means the costume of Esmeralda is trying to endear the audience to Esmeralda as her costume is aesthetic pleasing to the times and Fleur de Lys’ costumes are not as trendy. Meaning the costumes are showcasing the lovable tragic heroine and the cruel rich bitch.

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda

So while Esmeralda’s costume is a 1970’s take on Medieval style  and Fleurs’ costumes are a little bit more in keeping with medieval sensibilities but are the costumes in the 1977 version good? For the most part they are good.As earlier started Fleur de Lys costumes are all lovely but Esmeralda’s costume  doesn’t seem correct. This actually could be less of the fault of the costume and more with the casting. Michelle Newell is not a great casting pick for Esmeralda. This costume does showcase a sweeter Esmeralda that had not been seen since 1923 but it just doesn’t really work with the character or the attitude of the actress.

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda

Esmeralda’s costume could have read as more accurate depiction of what a young Romani woman could have worn in the 1480’s, the reality is that her costume was just made with the 1970’s fashion aesthetics in mind.  

With  the new production in Paris of Notre Dame de Paris there has been updates to the costumes. These changes range from fairly minor to a near complete overall, though still in the spirit of the original designs. This also marks the first time the costumes have really been altered aside from minor variations in Esmeralda’s and Fleur-de-Lys’ costumes and of course the Italian version. So let’s start with Esmeralda’s main costume in the 2016/2017 production.     

 

Helene Segara as Esmeralda Notre Dame de Paris

Helene Segara as Esmeralda from Notre Dame de Paris

It seems like the evolution of the costume has some full-circle in some ways. As you had the first generation of the green dress, which if you recall was made from a patterned velvet that was sewn to give it a patchworked look and sported asymmetrical sleeves. The caveat with costume is it didn’t move to showcase Esmeralda as a dancer. Though to be fair, the original production didn’t have Esmeralda dancing as much as subsequent versions.

Lola Ponce as Esmeralda Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Lola Ponce as Esmeralda Notre Dame de Paris

Italian version has been the only version to really deviate from the original style. The Italian version uses a lighter fabric and the pattern is made from lace though it it keeps the patchwork like pattern. The silhouette was the same of the original.  

 

Hiba Tawaji as Esmeralda 2016/2017 Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Hiba Tawaji as Esmeralda

Now in 2016, the production seems to have gotten the movement memo and has created an Esmeralda costume that has the basic elements of the original and the movement of the Italian version but it’s all together very different.

Just a bit of background, I first saw this dress at like 2am one night after a few too many weird videos on youtube (more on that next week) and my powers of critical thinking were out. I had no idea how to feel about this new design and to be honest I still don’t. Parts of it I like and other parts I’m confused by.

To be clear this dress is lovely to watch. It’s prettier in motion and I do applaud the production the innovation in changing things up. I for one was getting tired of the newer versions of the costume, with the higher hems and less embellishments.  They just didn’t look visually pleasing.

Hiba Tawaji as Esmeralda & Jay as Clopin 2016/2017 Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Hiba Tawaji as Esmeralda & Jay as Clopin

Ok, so the actual dress, there is A LOT going on with this costume. First it does hit all the basic components of the original with the color, neckline, basic silhouette, sleeves and slit. Thank you for getting the slit right, looks way better on an actual seam. Honestly, I’m not sure what the first you notice about this costume is  but for me it was the pattern or lack of one. They just nixed the pattern or any attempt at mimicking one. There is a little ombre as it’s a darker green on the bodice and a lighter green on the bottom. The patchwork pattern is now done with seams along the bodice and speaking of these seams they do an interesting asymmetrical overlay over one breast. This fabric overlay starts over the breast on one side goes around the back and ends under the breast on the other side of the bodice. This overlay is where a lot of the costume’s movement comes from and where the sparkly embellishments live. Instead of having sequins or beads sewn on the dress this version has them  in the overlay. I can’t really tell if it’s an insert or a lining. It also matches very closely do it’s harder to see. There also COULD be some sparkle elements on the dress itself but it hard to really tell. There is also ANOTHER overlay at the seam at her waist. 

But wait, there is more. All the edges of the costume are very much ragged. This is of course done on purpose to make Esmeralda look more like she lives on the streets. Most of the other versions did this element to an extent but the 2016/2017 version  has the edges look more frayed and distressed.   

Hiba Tawaji as Esmeralda 2016/2017 Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Hiba Tawaji as Esmeralda singing Vivre

Then there are the sleeves. There HAS to be two  different versions of the costume because one has shorter, more distressed sleeves and the other has longer less distressed sleeves. The shorter one reaches, at the longest, mid upper arm, just above the elbow. The shorter version also has three layer of fabric. The longer one reaches just past her elbows with no layering. Another theory is that the sleeves were hemmed after the preview of the show as in the picture Esmeralda shouldn’t be wearing the green dress during Vivre.

Hiba Tawaji as Esmeralda 2016/2017 Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Hiba Tawaji as Esmeralda

 

 That really should bring us to the  prisoner costume but I found so very little pictures of it so I will have to hold off on complaining about it but I what I can make out is it  seems to have an A-line silhouette and looks to made of a lacey burlap.  

 

Hiba Tawaji as Esmeralda 2016/2017 Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Hiba Tawaji as Esmeralda

I just find that bodice overlay really baffling from a design stand-point. It took me a while to figure it out and while in motion I understand it, in pictures it just looks weird and somewhat awkward. I guess it was a good compromise in adding movement while holding true to the original but it just a weird mix-bag for me. I don’t hate, I’m just not sure I like it. I really don’t know how to feel.

But what do you guys think of this costume? Like it? Hate it? No opinion? Like the disney costume better?

Vincent Elbaz as Phoebus, Melanie Thierry as Esmeralda & Patrick Timsit as Quasimodo Quasimodo d'el Paris picture image

Vincent Elbaz as Phoebus, Melanie Thierry as Esmeralda & Patrick Timsit as Quasimodo

Esmeralda wears Red, Grrrrrr, now that’s out of our system we can move on.  Quasimodo d’El Paris uses a very old but readily easy to red color style, characters you are meant to sympathize with I.E like are all in warm colorful tones while the other less likable characters are in stark colors or black and white. This isn’t like a super hard and fast rule as with the example of Esmeralda/Agnes.

Patrick Timsit as Quasimodo & Melanie Thierry as Esmeralda Quasimodo d'El Paris picture image

Patrick Timsit as Quasimodo & Melanie Thierry as Esmeralda

As Agnes she wears white. I suppose you could simply make the conclusion that the rich people wear the stark colors and the poorer soul wear colors. While I’m on the subject of Esmeralda, the red doesn’t bother me as much in this movie’s case. For one reason she is not a Romani where that color has negative connotations. In this movie she is a Cuban and while I don’t know the Cuban’s stance of the color red I can say that  the red triangle in their flag stands for equality, fraternity and freedom, none of which are bad things. Second Esmeralda is a lot more free-spitted and doesn’t have that purity she had in the book. And lastly, if you watch this movie and I mean REALLY watch you can see other Cuban ladies wearing the same outfit. It’s like this red dress is standard issue in the Court of Miracles.

Patrick Timsit as Quasimodo & Melanie Thierry as Esmeralda Quasimodo d'El Paris picture image

Patrick Timsit as Quasimodo & Melanie Thierry as Esmeralda

It’s not just the characters that are set in the warmer tones, Notre Dame a.k.a the Cathedral of El Paris has a  more of an orange hue. The actual Notre Dame has a cooler taupe color while the movie’s Cathedral  is slightly warm in color. It’s not a dramatic difference of color but it’s notability in your mind.

Patrick Timsit as Quasimodo Quasimodo d'El Paris picture image

Patrick Timsit as Quasimodo

Quasimodo also wears warm colors, mostly orange but some times blue. The point is he wears colors. Likable characters and places get happy colors and not nice people get no colors. Though Frollo is traditionally suppose to be in black.

Richard Berry as Frollo Quasimodo d'El Paris picture image

Richard Berry as Frollo

Just a side note about Frollo, his facial hair. This is the first time Frollo gets a any type of facial hair.  Oddly this type of facial hair is called a “Soul Patch.” It’s funny because he’s a priest trying to save people’s soul. It does make him look more sinister too. Otherwise his overall look is closest to Sir Cedric Hardwaicke from 1939 version, which is the standard Frollo movie look.

 

Ciara Renée as Esmeralda and Andrew Samonsky as Phoebus Hunchback of Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Ciara Renée as Esmeralda and Andrew Samonsky as Phoebus

On the whole, I like the costumes. There is a lot of good textures and colors that match the spirit of the Disney movie but elevates them to the stage. In particular, I really like  Esmeralda’s main costume and Phoebus’ costume. While I don’t they are accurate to the actual historical times they don’t really have to be. Though I did look up Burgundian fashion/armor and Phoebus might not be too far off, but really it does matter. Esmeralda has a very good re-imaginaing of her Disney look. I find it a bit curious that her hip scarf is devore, which is a velvet that have treated so that fibers are burned away resulting in a pretty pattern. Kind of like this. I find it curious because I have longed suspected that Esmeralda’s original Notre Dame de Paris costume was done with a similar technique so is it an homage or coincidence? I think it’s a coincidence but I like to think it’s an homage.

Ciara Renee as Esmeralda, Papermill production of Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Ciara Renee as Esmeralda, Papermill production of Hunchback of Notre Dame

Her other costumes  are fine too, though I get shade of Ariel’s seashell bra with her red dress in the bodice. Not a criticism, it just something I noticed.

Patrick Page as Frollo singing Hellfire, Papermills Hunchback of Notre Dame, Picture image

Patrick Page as Frollo singing Hellfire, Papermills

However there are aspects of the costume and make-up are I find to be lacking.

Let’s start with Frollo. Poor Frollo, I have not been kind to this version of him. First off Frollo gets like two costume changes.  The black outfit he wears at the start before he takes his vows and during the curtain call. His other costume is his vestments which is his principle costume. He does also wear a black cloak when he goes to the bar. There isn’t so much as issue with his costume as  does fit with his character and profession but they could have done more. His vestment is white with a black stole with a red lining and that is fine but they should made different stoles that cover more of the pure white robe as he  falls deeper into lust because his lust was hardly ever communicated in his acting. Frollo is so cool in this version with minor bits of it here and there because the songs had the lines in the lyrics. Making his costume get a blacker as the show went on would have been a great little visual clue to his psyche as his lust consumes him.

 

Michael Arden as Quasimodo performing Made of Stone Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Michael Arden as Quasimodo performing Made of Stone

 

Kind of a similar issue I had with costumes functioning oddly  was the congregation removing their cowls during Made of Stone. The idea was that that they were aspects of Quasimodo’s mind as well as personified in stone but because they actors  are both the statues and people as other points in the show, taking off the cowl reads more of a costume change and they are going for the stones that are Quasmodo imaginary friends to regular towns people. I would have had them pull up the hoods of the cowls to hid their face i.e. losing the humanity Quasimodo gave them and fading into the darkness as soulless statues of stone. Not throwing off the cowl entirely.     (sorry for the bad picture)

Michael Arden as Quasimodo with Saint Aphrodisius, Musical Production of Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Michael Arden as Quasimodo with Saint Aphrodisius, Musical Production of Hunchback of Notre Dame

Hey speaking of Quasimodo, his make-up. I have so many issues with his make-up. I get what they were doing, they wanted to drive the point of what makes a monster and what makes a man by having the actor literally transform into Quasimodo on stage. This is a gimmick and it serves to make it seem like the audience wouldn’t get the point and ultimetly making the Disney movie more mature and taking it audience more seriously.

Also this is not a great transformation, the actor applies like two lines of face paint to his face and that is his facial deformity. Honesty, I don’t have a issue with making the make-up minimal and having the actor do more of the work to convey Quasimodo’s deformity, that is what Notre Dame de Paris did and they had a much more minimal of a  style and they still be more lines on Quasimodo’s face, making that make-up more elaborate. Also it’s not super impressive from a stagecraft perceptive to have a grand set and lines for make-up for a character that is supposed to have facial deformity. Maybe had they added a little bit more to that real time transformation, like an eye protusion prothetic it would have been a little more impressive.  Der Glockner’s make-up wasn’t anything amazing and yet it looks like the Phantom of the Opera comparatively but that wasn’t the point they wanted to be minimal, (or save on the make-up budget.)

The issue of “minimalism” is something that will get discussed in the  next post but it seems like there is a solid disconnect of the make-up, the costumes and the sets. For the most part the sets and the costume go together fine. They are not what would considered overly grand and elaborate  but they  richly colored and textured but the make-up is minimal? It’s just weird especially for a character who is known for a facial deformity? That is like making the Phantom of the Opera’s deformirt look like a sunburn, oh wait they did that.

It was a decent thought for Quasimodo’s make-up but it was misguided and lacking in execution. It’s like they needed to pick a style and commit, not have aspects of the production to be one style and other aspects be another.

 

And remember you can still vote in the poll, so tell your friends.

What should be the next version?

  • Quasimodo d'el Paris (53%, 9 Votes)
  • The Dingo Version (35%, 6 Votes)
  • Other (PLEASE say what it is in the comments) (12%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 17

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Helene Segara, Garou, Daniel Lavoie, Patrick Fiori Original cast Notre Dame de Paris pciture image

Helene Segara, Garou, Daniel Lavoie, Patrick Fiori Original cast Notre Dame de Paris

Unlike other musicals, Notre Dame de Paris has a very different take on costumes. Like every interpretation of costumes, it’s part the current style, in this case late 90’s in France and the period the story, which takes place in 1482. However, the costume designer, Fred Sathal didn’t seem take much from the fashions of story’s period, she pretty much did her own thing.

Helene Segara as Esmeralda Notre Dame de Paris design by Fred Sathal

Helene Segara as Esmeralda design by Fred Sathal

Fred Sathal is a couture fashion designer who got her start in theater. Her designs are described a luxury bohemian and she likes sequins and beading and has unique techniques on fabric manipulation. Her point of view is clear in Notre Dame de Paris’ costumes.

Helene Segara as Esmeralda Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Helene Segara as Esmeralda Notre Dame de Paris

The costumes in Notre Dame de Paris are really polarizing. I have seen some hate, down right hate, on Esmeralda’s green dress and I can see where that comes from. The original dress doesn’t move very well and the details on it, with its unique swirled velvet-like fabric, patched work seams that are dyed slightly different and sequins, get lost and aren’t that notable. The costumes have so many little details that they aren’t that well suited for a stage show.

Garou as Quasimodo Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Garou as Quasimodo

These costumes just don’t read as medieval. They do seem to have more of a late 90’s couture vibe while sort of relating to the characters. I would say that as a standard representation of a costume, Quasimodo’s is the best. That being said I do like the characters have some color coding, they wear a mostly a single solid color so that a member of the audience can identify the character from far away.

Julie Zenatti as Fleur de Lys Notre Dame de Paris

Julie Zenatti as Fleur de Lys Notre Dame de Paris

The costumes differ somewhat from show to show, cast to cast especially both of Esmeralda’s costumes and Fleur-de-Lys‘ to a fair degree. It’s kind of amazing how much the green dress differs when they try so hard to keep it the same. The exception is the Italian version which is similar in concept but very different, it has more movement and is more exaggerated. Really I could spends weeks discussing these costumes in depth, hell I could spend weeks just talking about the fabric of the green dress, but I will not.

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire in Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire

This costume are more representation of the characters rather expressing grandiose musical costume preferences while maintain the designer style and the minimal nature of the show. If you like them, great, so do I and if you don’t than it’s understandable.

 

 

Fun Fact-  Phoebus’ chain mail shirt is real chain mail and Patrick Fiori lost like ten pounds running around while wearing it

For More
http://rivercygnet.hubpages.com/hub/nddp-costume-esmeralda-green
http://rivercygnet.hubpages.com/hub/esmeralda-white-dress
http://rivercygnet.hubpages.com/hub/fleur-de-lys-costumes-of-notre-dame-de-paris
http://www.thehunchblog.com/2012/04/esmeraldas-green-costume-defense/

Esmeralda,  Quasimodo, and Laverne King's  Academy Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda, Quasimodo, and Laverne King’s Academy Hunchback of Notre Dame

At last we come to my favorite part of any Hunchback products, the costumes! Though to be honest wasn’t going to discuss the costumes but there are a few point I feel I need to mention about the King’s Academy production.  Now I was in a High School play once and I know they didn’t care about the costumes like at all and it was a fairly well regarded school for theater, though I’m not sure why. Anyway unlike my old middle/high school the King’s Academy did try in the costume area, it’s just some costumes are much better than others.

Let’s start with the negatives.

Frollo’s costume is boring. It’s just black vestments with a red stole. It’s not inherently bad, just dull. But it’s Quasimodo’s costume that leaves me  wondering. First off, he has no make-up for the facial deformities and I forgive that, I really do and I’m a heartless critical nitpicking monster but what I can not forgive or wrap my head around is the white label. Just why? It makes his costume looks so lazy.  Also I don’t really care for the costumes the dancers wear during Hellfire and yes this is a colossal nitpick. I mention it because I actually like the light up tutus the dancers wear in Heaven’s light. At first I thought they were cheesy but it works  with the song and the point of the dual songs is the light reference. I just wished the dancers looked more like fire in Hellfire. I think they were almost there but the pants should gave been red in tone and not black, though I suppose they could have been and the video just makes the look black.

Stuff I sort what like.

I like the tutus in Heaven‘s light, there are cheesy but I appreciate them.  Speaking of the dancers and the ensemble, I appreciate that they have the appreciate costumes for the roles they have.

Esmeralda’s costume is one of the few costume in the main cast that is pretty much a copy of the Disney costume but it’s done well and looks nice.

The gargoyles are the only costumes that look like they were made from starch for the production and in that sense they stand out in a good way.

Heaven's Light King's  Academy Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Heaven’s Light King’s Academy Hunchback of Notre Dame

Next time Conclusion of the King’s Academy Production

Frollo, Quasimodo and Ensemble performing Esmeralda King's Academy Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo, Quasimodo and Ensemble performing Esmeralda King’s Academy Hunchback of Notre Dame


Last week I posted the Promo video of the La Jolla production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame on the blog’s Facebook page, so some of you have seen this already.

These are my reaction to the video, what I like and what I dislike. This might be  my only chance to discuss this since it’s looking unlikely that I will make the Paper mills  prodution this spring and who really know if this show will get an audio recording, or go to Broadway or La Jolla will just magically send me a video recording of the show for christmas but anyway here we go.

Ciara Renee and Michael Arden in the Jolla Production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Ciara Renee and Michael Arden in the Jolla Production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

What I liked:

No Gargoyles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES! Yeah sure they have their place in a kids movie in a franchise that has character like this but in a musical that is boosting being closer to the original story, no, just no.

The Sets- the sets are lovely. As silly as this might sound, I really like the floor. It’s not only accurate to Notre Dame but ti’s a nice visual statement.

The cast looks like they are having fun – I know this a ploy, if the cast is having fun then I the audeince will have fun, take my nonexistent money, (I’m a broke blogger). But I do enjoy the fun the seem to be having.

The Costumes – Across the broad these costume look great.  A few of the ensemble‘ costume caught my eye one being yellow and having an  most painterly touch to it and the other had leather-like components which is great but the two costume I really want to take about are Esmeralda’s costume. The promo video doesn’t show her in the prisoner costumes so we can’t talk about that but it does show her casual and performance dress. Her performance dress reminds me of across between Bollywood and Ren-faire, I don’t mean that in a negative way. They is something about the fabric or the sparkles just reminds of costume I seen in Bollywood film specific movies that features courtesans who are performing a dance number.  However the neckline reads more medieval, I dunno I think it works and it’s pink though if it were red I don’t think I would have minded. That being said I’m sick of seeing Esmeralda in red or pink as her primary color and for that reason Esmeralda’s casual  costume here is a breathe of fresh air for  me. It’s mostly blue which is a color she does wear in the novel although I think turquoise was color to the novel. The costume is very similar to the Disney costume as it the same basic cut, she also wears a purple skirt and her corset had gold stripes. The hip scarf is devore blue velvet and ti reminds me a little bit of Esmeralda costume in Notre Dame de Paris, whether this was intentional or I’m just making a connection that is not there it’s still a nice touch that adds a bit of texture to her costume. I wished her sleeves had been more puffy, it would have made a nice visual for the audience but that is a nitpick. Also I like that her knife is back though now that I think about, Esmeralda must have had a knife in the Disney version so it’s a null point. I wouldn’t I love her costumes but I appreciate them.

What I didn’t like:

Quasimodo’s makeup – It just looks like two lines of his face, it’s lackluster. Considering the scope of this production it just very underwhelming. Now to be fair, the promo video make not have a good shot of it but it seems like the deformity is coming more from the actor making a face than makeup. In a show like Notre Dame de Paris where everything is minimal, they can get way this the deformity being implied rather than realized but here I don’t think they can. And considering Quasimodo’s characterization in any version is wrapped up in his deformities, it’s not a little thing.

Hmm, only one thing I didn’t really like, either the video was too short or I’m going soft.

What did you think of the promo video?

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 Hunchback of Notre Dame, picture image

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 Hunchback of Notre Dame

The costumes in the 1997 version of the Hunchback were done by John Bloomfield. Bloomfield’s credits include Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Waterworld, two movies not known for their costumes. Of the two movies, Robin Hood is more similar in style and design to Hunchback’s costume and two costumes show this more than others.

Edward Atterton as Gringoire, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Edward Atterton as Gringoire

Speaking in favor of costumes as a whole they do look old. So many times in film and TV, the costumes look new and pristine. For a film like Hunchback this should not be the case, the clothes should look old and worn. This is something that was seen in Robin Hood. But are the costumes good? Meh, they’re average. Nothing is wrong but nothing is really is amazing.

Mandy Patinkin as Quasimodo, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Mandy Patinkin as Quasimodo

Let’s just get Quasimodo and Frollo out the way. Quasimodo’s look is pretty much stolen from 1939 version. It’s a good Quasimodo look compared to the 1956 version but the Chaney version set a standard for how Quasimodo should look and the 1939 version exceed it, so most versions try to match the 1939 version. This version did and didn’t add anything.

Richard Harris as Frollo, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Richard Harris as Frollo

Frollo’s costume……..well…………it’s probably the most interesting costume in the whole adaptation. I don’t mean interesting as good thing though. Frollo’s look in the novel was meant to be severe and austere but this version’s Frollo amps it up. He wears a black cowl robe which is what he wears in the novel but the total baldness just makes him look silly. In my 1997 Frollo post I said he looks like Nosferatu from the 1922 movie and he does. It’s too austere of look to take it seriously.

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Then we come to Esmeralda’s main costume. It’s a conventional medieval get-up. She wears a chemise with ties at the sleeves to reveal more arms, a corset and a skirt. The color is mostly shades of red tones however their is multiple colors mixed in the skirt and corset. The skirt itself looks like multiple scarfs that were fused to form a skirt. However the skirt is dyed in a vertical pattern and it seems to be a very light fabric. Though this costume is very inauthentic the different colors does help make it not as boring as it could have been.

 Salma Hayek as Esmeralda and Edward Atterton as Gringoire, 1997 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda and Edward Atterton as Gringoire

 

Unfortunately, this costume is made a little silly by the slave bracelet and the shoes. The shoes are forgivable on a practical sense but Esmeralda should be barefoot and somehow I think this costume would have been better sans the footwear. The Slave bracelet however is just silly. Slave Bracelets are bracelets that attract to a ring by a chain. They are based on Indian jewelry. My guess is the idea of her wearing one was to help push her an exotic beauty but the addition of it looks cheap.

Lady Marian in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves picture image

Lady Marian in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Esmeraldas’ costume and the one wore by the Phoebus-like guard are very reminiscent of Robin Hood costumes. Esmeralda’s costume with it scarf like skirt is similar to costume wore by Lady Marian. Once I learned that Bloomfeild did both movie my head link these two costumes together. Phoebus-like guard has the same heavy layered and studded armor that was used in Robin Hood and it’s black so you know he bad. However the loose layers in very similar in both films.

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda and Edward Atterton as Gringoire, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda and Edward Atterton as Gringoire

The costumes could have been boring but some decisions there were made either made them look good or silly. at best these costume are average to ok nothing more or less.

I just want to say, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is like a guilty pleasure of mine, I loved this movie as kid.

Next time; Sets

Sets 1997 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Notre Dame Set in teh 1997 version of Hunchback